How solitary waves collide in discrete granular alignments

Edgar Avalos, Surajit Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Solitary waves in continuum media pass through each other with only a slight phase change. However, in an intrinsically nonlinear many-body system such solitary waves could behave differently. It was predicted and experimentally confirmed that head-on solitary wave collisions in granular alignments are followed by the formation of tiny secondary solitary waves in the vicinity of the collision point. While it remains a challenge to provide an analytical treatment of the local time evolution, we present arguments and associated simulations to address a crucial unknown, namely, why the secondary solitary waves must form. Extensive numerical investigations on solitary wave collisions at a grain center and at an edge show marked differences. The effects of softening the grain repulsion are discussed to validate the arguments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046607
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 20
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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